In-Box Review
CH-54A Skycrane
1/100 Tamiya Sikorsky CH-54A Skycrane
  • skycrane_bx

by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Tamiya, during my early modeling days of the early 1970's, had a substantial line of 1/100 modern jets and helicopters, the 1/100 Scale Mini-Jet Series. As the standard for scales sorted itself out, 1/100 fell to the onslaught of 1/72. However, Tamiya's line were quite impressive for the time, featuring predominately recessed panel lines and the good fit Tamiya would be known for. The scale is about 30% smaller than 1/72, compact yet generally able to retain as much detail as 1/72 offers. The scale goes well with ship modelers' 1/96 and railroading TT (1/100 through 1/120) scales. It converts easily in both metric and Imperial system. But this scale never really took off to the extent that it was envisaged, probably more due to the fact that 1/72 had by that time taken a stranglehold on the hobby. Subject availability is not very high, though Accurate Miniatures, Revell, Takara, Faller, et al.,have some excellent 1/100 kits.


The CH-54 Tarhe is a twin-engine heavy-lift helicopter designed by Sikorsky Aircraft for the United States Army. It is named after Tarhe (whose nickname was "The Crane"), an eighteenth-century chief of the Wyandot Native American tribe.[1] The civil version is the S-64 Skycrane. Initial work on the Sikorsky "sky-crane" helicopters began in 1958 with the piston-engined S-60.

The first flight of the turboshaft-powered S-64 Skycrane was May 9, 1962, with the U.S. Army eventually purchasing 105, designating them CH-54. Used in Vietnam for transport and downed-aircraft retrieval, it was highly successful, thanks to the 'adaptable' nature of the module system first conceived by General James M. Gavin in his book Airborne Warfare in 1947. Early pods could not carry troops and external sling-loads at the same time. Advanced pods for the CH-54 could carry troops and cargo underslung at the same time but were not purchased. The Skycrane can not only hold its cargo up and tight against its center spine to lessen drag and eliminate the pendulum effect when flying forward, it can winch vehicles up and down from a hovering position, so the helicopter itself need not land.*

Tarhes were able to lift two UH-1 Hueys, and even a M551 Sheridan tank!


Tamiya's Sikorsky CH-54A Sky Crane is comprised of 9 clear canopy and window pieces, and 93 olive parts.

The detail is mainly raised panel lines. As these helicopters were built with raised rivets, this is acceptable. There is plenty of detail on the engines, and other parts.

The 10 piece cockpit detail includes 3 well detailed crew members.

Detailed parts are crisp.

No flash mars the parts. Nor did I see sinkholes or mold marks.

The canopy has light relief framing.

Tamiya’s fall-together fit is evident with this model. Pretty impressive for a model molded in the early 1970's!

You are provided with the multi-use trailer pod. Unfortunately, no artillery piece or other cargo is provided, unlike the contemporary Revell 1/72 kit..

The decals were printed in 2002 and are sharp and perfectly registered. Only one aircraft is provided.


An impressive large 1/100 kit of a fascinating helicopter in a unique scale.


Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Sharply molded and well detailed. Big aircraft in a space saving scale.
Lows: One decal option. Single cargo option. Odd scale.
Verdict: Tamiya's Sikorsky CH-54A Skycrane is an impressive, well detailed model of this amazing helicopter.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:100
  Mfg. ID: 60024
  Suggested Retail: $14.50
  Related Link: 1/100 Combat Plane Series
  PUBLISHED: Dec 02, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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